Planet Rugby

Smith try wins it for Harlequins

09th February 2014 14:49

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A 77th minute score from Sam Smith helped Harlequins pick up an 11-10 victory over London Wasps in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.

Smith bundled over with two minutes to spare to give Quins what had looked like an unlikely win.

The wind was swirling at The Stoop, and from the outset it looked like it would be a tight game between the two teams who were lying sixth and seventh before kick-off.

That pattern continued throughout as there was little to separate the two sides in a game where only two tries and two penalties were scored.

Wasps had the wind in their favour first-half and spent much of the half camped inside the Harlequins 22.

Joe Carlisle, a late replacement for the injured Andy Goode, impressed and kicked the visitors in to an early 0-3 lead.

Nick Evans almost immediately responded to make it 3-3 in the early exchanges.

Points were at a premium, though, and despite constant waves of Wasps pressure, the Quins defence were holding out.

As the half wore on, Wasps began to use the driving maul more and more to force the Harlequins defence closer to their try line. Ashley Johnson went close to going over, and moments later a storming drive from a scrum led to a penalty try being awarded to the visitors, to give them the points their pressure deserved. Carlisle converted to make it 3-10.

James Haskell went close to scoring another try, only for Maurie Fa'asavalu to tackle the England flanker in to touch.

Ugo Monye then led a rare break for the Quins in to the Wasps half, as they gained a penalty within kicking distance. Evans opted to kick to the corner and the half ended without them taking full advantage.

With the wind in now behind them, Harlequins looked to fight back in the second-half. And the tone was set when Fa'asavalu made a huge hit on Andrea Masi to swing the momentum in the home sides favour.

Ben Botica, who had replaced Evans, kicked a penalty to reduce Quins' arrears to just four points. But despite constant pressure, Harlequins were looking unable to break down London Wasps mean defence, who were looking impenetrable throughout.

That was until the final moments, when the ball broke to Smith, who landed the ball on the tip of the try-line to give Harlequins a smash and grab victory.

London Wasps could feel hard done by for all the effort they had put in, but it was Harlequins who were left celebrating at the final whistle.

The scorers:

For Harlequins:
Try: Smith
Pen: Evans, Botica

For Wasps:
Try: Penalty
Con: Carlisle
Pen: Carlisle

Harlequins: 15 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 14 Sam Smith, 13 Tim Molenaar, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 6 Tom Guest, 5 George Robson, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Paul Doran Jones, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Tom Casson.

Wasps: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Will Helu, 13 Andrea Masi, 12 Chris Bell (c), 11 James Short, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Sam Jones, 7 James Haskell, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 James Cannon, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Brett Sheehan, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Charlie Hayter.

Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Peter Huckle, Simon McConnell
TMO: Sean Davey

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